Rio Seniors get in-person graduation

After last years graduation went virtual, class of 2021 honored on baseball field


Senior Maryam Qazikhani speaking at last nights graduation ceremony

The class of 2021 received their diplomas in person at an outdoor ceremony, on campus last night.

The 460 members of the graduating class sat socially distanced on the JV baseball field during the warm ceremony, that began at 5:30.

“It was nice to actually have a normal graduation after everything our class went through this year,”

said graduating senior Ryan Wilson. “I was happy to actually graduate alongside my friends and see our senior year come to a close together.” Each graduate was allowed two guests because of COVID-19 restrictions.”

The ceremony was also live-streamed and an archive version is available here.

Principal Brian Ginter began his address by acknowledging that “there were times … we didn’t think we’d make it to this moment.”

Indeed the district only agreed to an in-person ceremony in April and Rio’s event was scheduled to take place at El Camino until parents protested.

Ginter went on to praise the graduates for their perseverance.

“These students have had unprecedented adversity to deal with..and they have had an unforgiving to say the least over a year,” he said. “When you go through difficult times they make you stronger in the end, and if that’s the case you are probably going to be one of the strongest groups of kids to ever come out of this school.”

Among those honored at the ceremony were valedictorians (straight A’s) and salutatorians (one B).

Valedictorians:  Nolan Barry, Annika Bjork, Emma Chally,  Juliet Del Core, Bethany DiSilvestro, Ellis Emerson, Joseph Fahn, Elizabeth Gore, Katie Hardwicke,  Steven Hartman, Emma Hutchinson, Grace Montgomery, Katelyn Newton, Isaiah Ortego,  Maryam Qazikhani.

Salutatorians: Charla Long, Sara Kajikyan, Uyen Le, Molly Mahoney, Christina Vyvoda, Elyse Ehlert, Nathan Gauthier.